Rajiv Gandhi was blown up by a woman who had explosive devices strapped to her body, Minister of State for Home Affairs Subodh Kant Sahay said Thursday.
Sahay told Reuters that forensic experts had confirmed that a woman, who has yet to be identified, had concealed a high-powered bomb on her body, which exploded when she bowed to greet Gandhi. A wire, a spring and a British-made battery had been found on the remains of the woman's torso, he said. The upper portion of her body had been blown away, but her face was intact, he added.India's Law and Justice Minister Subramaniam Swamy said Thursday fresh evidence on the assassination pointed to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). "We have no clinching proof yet, but prima facie there is enough material to point to the LTTE as the suspect," he said.
But Sahay was more cautious about accusing the Tamil Tigers, the main rebel group fighting for a separate homeland in Sri Lanka. "We are not saying that the LTTE is involved, but they do have expertise in explosives and mines," Sahay said.
As prime minister, Rajiv Gandhi sent troops to Sri Lanka on an abortive peacekeeping mission in 1987. They ended up fighting Tiger guerrillas.